14 Fun Things to Do in NYC on a Rainy or Cold Day

Lara Dreux | October 28, 2020 | Lifestyle Travel culture

14 Best Things to Do in NYC on a Rainy Day

In a year marked by an unprecedented global pandemic, many restaurants, markets and cultural centers have been forced to shift their activities outdoors. But what happens on a rainy day? Fear not, our expansive list will help equip you with a varied set of alternative options in adherence with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Present-day New York City is far from the ghost town that some have painted it to be. Its inhabitants remain busy and continue to transcend all the turmoil, coming up with creative ideas to enjoy what their city has to offer. See for yourself by scrolling through this diverse selection of museums, virtual activities and shopping accessible with or without rain.

Here are some of the best indoor things to do in NYC on a rainy or cold day. Browse the list below to find what suits your fancy, and enjoy while staying safe!


NYC Ballet


New York's world-acclaimed ballet stage has moved online this autumn. Sip on a hot cup of apple cider as you enjoy their free digital experience from home. The beautiful and synchronized dancers will entertain you from your screen, performing A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Russian Seasons and plenty more.

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ON SCREEN THIS WEEK // The score for Balanchine’s four-minute "meringue" Scherzo à la Russe is a piece by Stravinsky originally intended for the soundtrack to 1943’s The North Star, an anti-war film written by Lillian Hellman. After the project fell through, Stravinsky arranged the piece for Paul Whiteman’s jazz band, then again for symphony orchestra, and it is the latter which Balanchine called a “charming, accurate evocation of an old Russian dance… as I recall such things from my childhood and my training in ballet there.” The resulting ballet premiered at NYCB’s 1972 Stravinsky Festival with a corps of 16 women and Karin von Aroldingen and Kay Mazzo in the lead roles, all dressed in be-ribboned chiffon interpretations of traditional Russian silhouettes and dazzling headpieces designed by Karinska.⁠ ⁠ “You feel like a child or a doll when you do it,” said von Aroldingen. “The whole thing is a smile.” In the 2012 performance featured on Saturday’s Family Friendly: All Balanchine program, Corps de Ballet Members Olivia Boisson and Claire Von Enck dance the lead roles. This recording of Scherzo à la Russe, along with that of two other Balanchine ballets, premieres on the Saturday, October 10 matinee program at 2 PM EDT on our Facebook and YouTube pages and at nycballet.com, and is available to stream for seven days.⁠ ⁠ Photo credit: © Paul Kolnik⁠ ⁠ @toughinatutu #oliviaboisson #scherzoalarusse #balanchine #georgebalanchine #stravinsky #ballet #dance #nycb #nycballet #newyorkcityballet

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The New York Metropolitan Opera


For a delightful visual experience, stream the Metropolitan Opera's nightly shows for free while cozily tucked in bed. The vivid costumes, stages and magical storylines will astound you as though you were watching at the theater.

New York Film Festival


Turn your laid-back Sunday into a cultural feast as you watch internationally-renowned cinematic chefs d'oeuvres online. Rent the latest motion pictures from across the globe and support talented artists for their perseverence and creativity.

TCS New York City Marathon


Feeling lazy and out of shape for this year's marathon? Not to worry, the annual event has gone digital. Run the virtual 26.2-mile race at your convenience any day between October 17th and November 1st. Join other runners from different nations and contribute in making this one of the world's largest virtual marathon in history.

INSIDER TIP You may join for free, or donate for a good cause.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue, 82nd Street / Website

Get ahead of the game and book your tickets online for one of New York's most renowned cultural centers. Boasting historical and contemporary statues, and a wide variety of paintings and artifacts, this establishment never ceases to amaze. The Metropolitan Museum of Art welcomes you in person seven days a week, Saturdays through Mondays from 10am to 5pm, and Thursdays through Fridays from 12pm to 7pm.

Museum of Modern Art

11 W 53rd Street / Website

Colloquially referred to as the MoMA, this space is open to all contemporary, pop, and modern art lovers. The museum has updated its facilities with socially-distanced policies, obligatory face masks and improved ventilation to help keep its visitors safe. Indulge in their displays of photography and witty exhibitions as you wander their wide corridors in search of inspiration.

Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevoort Street / Website

For those curious to explore America's art scene, reserve your tickets online and stop by this hip downtown location. Among the latest exhibitions, the museum feautures "Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist" and "Order and Ornament: Lichtenstein's Entablatures."


1071 Fifth ave. / Website

No virtual experience can truly replicate this gem's magnificent architecture. Visit the avant-guarde Guggenheim in person and feed your creative senses with its radical art and unorthodox interior.


439 W 15th Street / Website

This novel hotspot is like no other in terms of its submersive digital experience. Step inside and dive into the otherworldly display of lights. On view now, the "Celestial" show is inspired by Pantone's 2020 Color of the Year, Classic Blue. Stressful times call for reflection and pause; this space will distract you from world's troubles and soothe you spirits with enchanting sights.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Pier 86, W 46th Street / Website

Satisfy your curiosity and explore Intrepid's impressive complex. This non-profit museum promotes the awareness and understanding of history, science and the sacrifice of thousands of heroes that served the country. Come admire real space shuttles, ships, aircrafts and NASA equipment and allow yourself to be transported into an adventure-filled world.


A Current Affair


Every October weekend, over 200 retailers gather in Brooklyn for an immense sale of vintage clothing. Colors, textures and designs galore: come mix and match a one-of-a-kind outfit to dazzle the crowds. The market is held outdoors beneath large tents and, if you still fear getting wet, browse their vast selection online and keep up with the latest bargains!

Sour Mouse

110 Delancey Street / Website

Who said adults can't have fun? Take a break, have a laugh and come play with friends at this brand new spot. Challenge your mates with Sour Mouse's pool tables, ping pong tables, foosball tables or board games; a little competitive spirit may be just the right distraction. Guaranteeing endless fun, the club hosts local comedians and musicians seven nights a week which you can enjoy while tasting their sumptuous charcuterie menu.

MLB Flagship

1271 Avenue of the Americas / Website

Visit baseball's equivalent of a candy shop at New York's official MLB Flagship store where all fans and fanatics are welcome. Get your hands on on must-have sport gear, rare collectibles and signed artifacts from America's greatest baseball champions. The store has recently added more regular cleaning sessions and kindly asks you to keep your masks on and adhere to social distancing to best promote a safe and fun shopping experience.


Long Gallery Harlem

2073 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd / Website

Launched on this year's Juneteenth, this window installation allows the public to view artwork inside the windows from the street. Dress for the weather and come appreciate this innovative exhibit promoting awareness of racial inequity through thought-provoking artwork.

Photography by: Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images


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